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Architecture students participate in iMphendulo Workshop

15 Jun, 2017

Masters students in Architecture participated in the iMphendulo Workshop at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) which culminated in a presentation of their design work at the KZN Institute of Architecture (KZNIA).

UKZN masters students at the iMphendulo Workshop.
Masters students in Architecture participated in the iMphendulo Workshop at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) which culminated in a presentation of their design work at the KZN Institute of Architecture (KZNIA).

The focus of the workshop was on sharing architectural knowledge and experiences while simultaneously creating a concept design/proposal for small-scale farmers in the uMbumbulu area to use for producing crops at a reduced cost.

Three groups were formed made up of students from UKZN, the Durban University of Technology, Hochshcule Koblenz in Germany and the Gdansk University of Technology in Poland

Each group was given an open site in uMbumbulu to visit to create their proposed design.

Their initial tools were Google earth maps. In addition, a high-level survey and documentation were completed with photos and other methods in order to inform resultant texture, quality of interventions and possibilities for contextual opportunities. The students were also tasked to employ ideas about resilient materials, and to create a responsive design with a contextually relevant approach.

During their trip to Umbumbulu, the students were introduced to community members through an NGO involved in agricultural development, after which each group presented a strategy and design framework for an architectural invention at KZNIA.

Student Mr Peter Harel said: ‘This entire workshop was a valuable learning experience for all of us. The collaboration with other architecture students gave us the chance to see the different approaches to design. Although there was a language barrier at times, the visual interaction made up for it.’

Another student, Ms Sumaya Narot, said: ‘As architecture students we got to work as a team with the  workshop making it clear that architecture is not only about design but is more about people. It really grounded us because we got to understand rurality and urbanity a bit more.’

The students strongly believe in community development with the understanding that the smallest change can make a difference. 

Melissa Mungroo

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